Bielby joined the FWD in March as deputy director general, having previously been the editor of convenience magazine Retail Express.
He said: “It is an honour to be taking over from John Murphy and building on his many successes. I am passionate about the wholesaling sector, and about the work of the FWD. We face some huge challenges on both the retail and food service sides and it is very exciting to be leading the way in tackling them for members.”
FWD chairman Francis Ball said: “As John Murphy begins his well-earned retirement, the FWD council would like to thank him for his energetic leadership since 2005. He has presided over a period of great success.
“At the same time, I am delighted that James has joined the federation. We have appointed a new chief executive who will drive our mission forwards with dynamism and a real understanding of the issues that affect our sector.”